An American man who says he was diagnosed with HIV by a Catholic priest and then treated by another priest has told how he was told he had to undergo a “life-long process” to get tested for the virus.
The man, who goes by the name “Holly” in the newspaper article, has said he underwent the tests at the New York City Catholic Health Care System (CCHS) in the US before he was eventually admitted to a hospital in Houston.
The priest who helped him, the Rev. John Houghton, told ABC News the man was not given a second chance to test.
“I was told that we were going to do this for him for the rest of his life,” the man told the network.
“And it wasn’t an option.”
Holly told ABC that he was given a test for HIV in October of 2015 and was then given an appointment to go to the hospital.
He said that he met a nurse there, who told him to take a blood sample for testing.
“She told me that I was going to be tested for HIV,” Holly told The New York Times.
“So I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to cost me $1,000.
I don’t know what to do.
What do I do?’
She said, Well, we have this plan for you, so it’s on your bucket list.”
Holly said he was also told that if he did not test positive, he would be placed in isolation.
“That was all just a shock, but it was a really difficult thing to accept,” he said.
“It was a lot to process.”
The priest’s attorney, David Pinto, told the newspaper that the priest told him that Holly’s “treatment” was part of the “life saving” work done to “cure” the man.
“The priest never gave him a second look at the facts and told him he would never get tested,” Pinto said.
He added that the doctor said that Holly was “doing something very important” in his life and that it was the right thing to do to help him.
“Hollys treatment of the man, in addition to his treatment of his HIV infection, was the reason he was admitted to Houston for a life-long, serious and dangerous condition,” Pinton said.
Holly told the Associated Press that the hospital where he was treated is the only one he has been to in Houston since the beginning of his illness.
He also told the paper that he has received a lot of support from other people who were treated at the same hospital.
“Many of my friends, my family, my close friends and people I know have been able to heal from my disease, which is not an uncommon phenomenon,” he told the AP.
“Even people who know I’m HIV positive and haven’t gotten tested, they’re still here helping me with things like medication, therapy, everything that they can.”